Gotham Gazette

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Mayoral Issue Grid: Finance

Mayoral Issue Grid


New York City’s annual budget will pose a problem for the next mayor. Experts project that the city will face a $4.5 billion deficit in each of the next two years. If the mayor cannot reduce spending, he or she will be forced to raise taxes or generate revenue from fees, fines, or tickets. The property tax is the only tax the mayor and City Council can raise without the approval of the State Legislature.

Fernando Ferrer

To reduce the city’s projected budget deficit, Fernando Ferrer says that he will eliminate loopholes in the tax code that he says costs the city $2 billion a year. He also promises to fight for more funding from Albany, particularly Medicaid payments. Ferrer also believes that the commuter tax should be reinstated, which would require the approval of the State Legislature.

While Ferrer says he will not raise taxes to balance the budget, he has proposed a stock transfer tax to help raise $1 billion for education.

Ferrer outlined a property tax rebate plan that would "offer a $100,000 property tax exemption to the approximately 600,000 New York homeowners of coops, condominiums and 1, 2, and 3-family homes valued under $800,000. Every qualified homeowner whose home is valued at $100,000 or more would automatically enjoy $973 in savings. Meanwhile, homeowners with homes valued above $800,000 would continue to receive the $400 rebate."

Renters would also receive relief. Under the HOPE plan, Ferrer would provide "an average annual benefit of $295 to renters living in rent-regulated units who have a household income below $60,000 and at least one child under the age of 18."

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg says that the city’s budget can be divided into two parts: the spending that the city controls and the spending mandated by the state.

Bloomberg argues he has taken steps to reduce the budget where he can, cutting $4 billion from the budget and reducing the city’s workforce by 15,000 employees.

The city’s projected deficits, he says, are a result of things out of the city’s control, like Medicaid and pensions. He supports Medicaid reform and worked to reduce pension costs.

Although he raised taxes in the past, Bloomberg opposes increases in the income taxes or a tax on Wall Street stock transfers.


- 10 Budget Choices Facing The Next Mayor
- The Mayoral Candidates on Budgets, Taxes and Spending (Forum)
- $50 Billion Budget -- A Shortsighted Use Of Surpluses
- Budget Transparency After The West Side Stadium 

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